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EU Offers $1.6 Mln for Human Rights, Democracy Work in Cambodia
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 02:00 DAP-NEWS/ Tep Piseth
PHNOM PENH, April 20-The Delegation of European Union to Cambodia on Monday has launched its new call for proposals for human rights projects with a total allocation of €1.2 million (over $1.6 million).
“The funds are drawn from the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and aim to finance Cambodian NGOs whose work contributes to the development and consolidation of democracy and respect for all human rights in Cambodia, it said.
"The European Union values the expertise that many Cambodian NGOs possess, and notably the role that they can play in the field of strengthening human rights and democracy. This is why we are very keen in continuing our support to human rights defenders in Cambodia," said Mr. Rafael Dochao Moreno, Chargé d' Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to Cambodia quoted him as saying.
It added that funding is to promote the rights and empowerment of indigenous people and their communities, to enhance the role of women in society and politics, and to address human trafficking, to prevent torture and improve prison conditions, to ensure the respect for the rights of detainees and convicts, as well as to promote land security and tenure for the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.
It said that The EU has published this call for proposals every year since 2004, and it has awarded a total of € 10.5 million (about $ 14 million) in grants since then. The EU is currently funding 33 human rights projects, which are implemented by 26 national and international NGOs.
East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta Visits Cambodia
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 03:56 DAP-NEWS / Ouy Bun Leng
PHNOM PENH, April 20-East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Harta and 1996 Nobel Peace winner will visit Cambodia from 21-23 April to meet with Cambodian students in Phnom Penh and deliver his keys note about the “building the culture of peace and development in a globalized world”.
He also will meet Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on 21 April on bilateral talks,” the source close to the government said. East Timor is observatory country for ASEAN and it plans to join ASEAN soon.
His biography said that Jose Ramos Horta, was born December 26, 1949, has been Foreign Minister of East Timor since independence in 2002, having previously been a spokesman for the East Timorese resistance in exile during the years of Indonesian occupation between 1975 and 1999.
He was born in Dili, the capital of East Timor, to a Timorese mother and Portuguese father who had been exiled to East Timor by the Salazar dictatorship. He was educated in a Catholic mission in the small village of Soibada, later chosen by Fretilin as headquarters after the Indonesian invasion. Of his eleven brothers and sisters, four were killed by the Indonesian military.
He was actively involved in the development of political awareness in what was then Portuguese Timor which caused him to be exiled for two years in 1970 - 1971 to Portuguese East Africa. It was a family tradition as his grandfather had also suffered exile, from Portugal to the Azores Islands, then Cape Verde, Portuguese Guinea and finally to Portuguese Timor.
A moderate in the emerging Timorese nationalist leadership, he was appointed Foreign Minister in the "Democratic Republic of East Timor" government proclaimed by the pro-independence parties in November 1975.
Ramos Horta left East Timor three days before the Indonesian troops invaded to plead the Timorese case before the United Nations.
Ramos Horta arrived in New York to address the UN Security Council and urge them to take action in the face of the Indonesian military onslaught which would result in over 200. 000 East Timorese deaths between 1976 and 1981. José Ramos Horta was the Permanent Representative of Fretilin to the UN for the ensuing ten years.
In December 1996, José Ramos Horta shared the Nobel Peace Prize with his fellow countryman, Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo. The Nobel Committee chose to honor the two laureates for their 'sustained efforts to hinder the oppression of a small people', hoping that 'this award will spur efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict of East Timor based on the people's right to self- determination. The Committee considers José Ramos Horta 'the leading international spokesman for East Timor's cause since 1975.
José Ramos Horta studied Public International Law at The Hague Academy of International Law (1983) and at Antioch University where he completed an MA in Peace Studies (1984). He was trained in Human Rights Law at the International Institute of Human Rights In Strasbourg, France (1983). He attended Post-Graduate courses in American Foreign Policy at Columbia University, New York (1983). He is a Senior Associate Member of St Anthony's College, Oxford, England (1987).
PM Hun Sen to Open New Building of Anti-Terrorism
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 01:56 DAP-NEWS / Sreng Vibol
PHNOM PENH, April 20-Cambodian Prime Minister will attend the opening ceremony of new building of the national committee of anti-terrorism inside the military airbase near Phnom Penh international airport, source to the government said on Monday.
The official ceremony will conduct on Wednesday (April 21) and this office namely secretariat of the national committee of anti-terrorism, the source said.
This unit has been playing a key role to fight serious crimes and especially crime crossing borders, the source noted. This unit also has supported from the friendly countries for their training our officials and it so far has contributed actively to fight against terrorists who destroyed social security, peace and stability of the country and especially economic matters like money laundering,’ the sources added.
Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni to Visit Japan
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 01:52 DAP-NEWS/ Tep Piseth
PHNOM PENH,April 20-“Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni will pay a state visit to Japan from 16-20 May this year to strengthen bilateral bonds for the two kingdoms,” the statement from Cambodian Foreign Ministry announced on Monday.
His Majesty Akihito, the emperor of Japan, is invited his majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni for this state visit, the statement said.
It added that during his stay in Japan, his Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom sihamoni will make a state call on their majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan.
His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni will participate in a state Banquet hosted by their Majesties the emperor and empress of Japan and a lunch hosted by His Excellency Mr. Yukio Hatoyama, Prime Minister of Japan, in his honor, the statement said.
“The Royal Government of Cambodia highly appreciates this state visit to Japan of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, which will further strengthen friendship and cooperation between the kingdom of Cambodia and Japan,” it added.
PM Hun Sen to Attend World Expo 2010 in China
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 04:30 DAP-NEWS/ Tep Piseth
PHNOM PENH,April 20-Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead the Cambodian delegation to attend the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China from 29 April -2 May, the statement from the Cambodian Government’s cabinet said on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Hun Sen has always joined the World Expo class in China in past years as the witness of strengthening bilateral bonds between the two countries.
China is the biggest loan provider for Cambodia as well as billions of US dollars investment in hydroelectric power plants and agricultural sector and help build rural infrastructure development in the country, and they are the old friends.
U.S. Injects $US16.2 Million for Three U.S. Democratic Institutions in Cambodia
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 06:03 DAP-NEWS/ Ek Madra
PHNOM PENH, April 20 – United States on Tuesday launched a five-year plan of $16.2 million program designed to promote accountability and transparency in government in Cambodia. The program will be implemented by a consortium composed of the International Republican Institute (IRI); the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
“This program is designed to promote increased accountability and transparency in policy making and implementation, and it will encourage all Cambodians – from leaders to civil society groups to individuals – to be accountable for the decisions they make,” said U.S. Ambassador Carol A. Rodley at the official launch of accountability in governance and politics program, which also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.
They will do this by supporting multi-party discussions and, in the run-up to the 2012 and 2013 elections, through candidate debates organized with all the competing parties, she said.
“By working side by side with Cambodians inside and outside of government, we have contributed to some notable successes,” said Rodley.
She also said that national and local elections have steadily improved, culminating in the National Assembly election in the summer of 2008, “which was conducted in a largely peaceful and orderly atmosphere and was widely regarded as the freest held in Cambodia”.
Cambodia’s democracy is young, but it has made substantial progress since the first national election in 1993, said Rodley.
She also said that the United States is pleased to have played even a small part in this process since 2001, when we launched our first good governance program in Cambodia.
Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Council of Ministers, said the project will be implemented in line with the government’s policies to ensure the equitable progress in the country.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodia has adhered to improve democracy, pluralistic party system as well as the freedom of expression and so on.”
“Cambodia has been the safe heaven for NGOs”.
Former Vietnamese President Admires Cambodian Development: Official
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 06:04 DAP-NEWS / Ouy Bun Leng
PHNOM PENH, April 20-Former Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong on Tuesday met with Cambodian National assembly president Heng Samrin to exchange views about the relationship bonds between the two countries.
Mr. Kom Kosal, chief of Cabinet of the national assembly president said that Mr. Tran admired Cambodia about the country’s development with quick move and hoped Cambodia will progress with prosperity soon like other civilized countries.
Mr. Kosal continued that Mr. Tran visited here for first time in 2001 as Vietnamese president.
“Cambodia also thanked for the help in the past years and continued the bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefits of the two peoples and countries,” he noted. Mr Tran also will meet with Samdech Chea Sim, senate president on the same day.
Cambodian Growth Projected 4.5 pct This Year, 6 pct for 2011- ADB
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 07:29 DAP-NEWS
PHNOM PENH, April 20 – The Asian Development Bank said on Tuesday that Cambodian growth is projected 4.5 percent for 2010 and higher to 6 percent for next year thanks to good crops, increasing services, tourism and constructions.
“If the weather allows for reasonable crops in Cambodia, GDP is projected to rebound by 4.5 percent in 2010,” said the Bank release.
“In 2011, a return to higher—though still below trend—growth in garment exports and tourism, together with some expansion of non-garment manufacturing and a pickup in other services sub-sectors, is projected to raise GDP growth to around 6 percent,” it said.
Agricultural output is projected to expand by 4.7 percent assisted by efforts to increase irrigation and the greater availability of high-yield seeds, said the ADB.
The Bank said that the growth in services is projected to resume at around 5 percent for this year and construction activity will likely grow at a moderate rate of about 4 percent, as appetite for bank credit gradually recovers and inflows of foreign direct investment, particularly from Korea, resume for some projects.
Cambodia received 2.2 million tourists last year. The kingdom produced 7.3 million tonnes of rice for 2009/2010 of which the country saw another surplus of rice of 3.1 million tonnes available for export, according to the agriculture ministry.
ADB also said that Cambodian growth was almost double digits from 1998 to 2008, but the country’s growth was estimated contracted 2 percent in 2009 due to the global downturn in 2008.
The World Bank on April 7 said that Cambodian growth is projected at 4.4 percent for 2010, expects 6 percent for next year.
According to a joint statement—which joined by the World Bank, Cambodia and IMF—released at the news conference said Cambodian foreign direct investment (FDI) is estimated at $515 million for 2009, and it is projected to increase at $725 million for 2010.
The release said the value of FDI is expected to reach up to $800 million for 2011.
Cambodia, which has been successful with rice production in the last decade and this prospect remains unchanged, produced an estimated 7.3 million tonnes of rice for 2009/2010 of which the nation saw another surplus of rice of 3.1 million tonnes available for exports.
The kingdom’s exports was $USD 3.9 billion and imported was $5.4 billion for 2009.
The country projected exports for 2010 is $4.1 billion and imports are estimated $6.3 billion.
For next year, Cambodia expected exports to increase up to $4.6 billion and imports expected to increase up to $7 billion.
U.S. Hospital Ship to Visit Cambodia
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 08:48 DAP-NEWS/ Tep Piseth
PHNOM PENH, April 20-The U.S. hospital ship named “Mercy” will depart its home port here on Saturday bound for Asia including Cambodia and a series of humanitarian missions this summer, the statement from the navy ship Mercy obtained on Tuesday said.
The ship, along with a contingent of military medical, dental and engineering personnel and civilian volunteer specialists, will travel to Cambodia, and other countries including Vietnam, Indonesia and Timor-Leste as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s “Pacific Partnership 2010” mission, 3rd Fleet officials in San Diego announced Monday. The ship will be arrived Cambodia soon.
Cambodia and The U.S. will mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relation in July with many social and cultural events. Both sides also plan to conduct military training exercise soon with hundreds of soldiers from other countries to take part in this exercise.
Along with Mercy, two other Navy ships, which officials did not name, will join in humanitarian civic assistance missions in Palau and Papua New Guinea.
Mercy, a Military Sealift Command ship commanded by Merchant Marine Capt. David Bradshaw, will leave San Diego Naval Base on May 1 for the overall missions led by Capt. Lisa Franchetti, who commands Destroyer Squadron 21 in San Diego. Navy Capt. Jeffrey Paulson, a medical officer, will command the military treatment facility aboard Mercy.
The 894-long, 69,000-ton ship is a former oil tanker that was converted into a floating hospital. It is equipped with a helicopter flight deck, specialized laboratories, 12 operating rooms, an 80-bed intensive-care unit and enough beds to house 1,000 patients.
The deployment isn’t Mercy’s first aid mission in Southeast Asia. During a four-month 2008 deployment under the Pacific Partnership banner, medical personnel aboard the ship treated more than 90,000 patients in visits to the Philippines, Vietnam, Federated States of Micronesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.
Singaporean Oil Company Acquired 25% Stake of Cambodian Oil Block with Chevron Corp
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 09:06 DAP-NEWS/ Tep Piseth
PHNOM PENH, April 20-The Singapore-based KrisEnergy Pte. Ltd said on Tuesday that the company earlier acquired a 25% stake in a Cambodian offshore block operated by a unit of Chevron Corp (CVX).
Te Duong Dara, director general of Authority of Cambodian Petroleum could not reach for comment.
KrisEnergy holds interests in nine exploration licenses in Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, it said. The Dow Jones media reported on Monday that the company has arranged a $150 million credit facility with Standard Bank Plc to fund recent acquisitions of oil and gas assets in Indonesia and Thailand.
"The credit facility enables the leveraged acquisition of oil and gas producing assets and was utilized in recently completed transactions in Indonesia and Thailand," the company said in a statement.
EU Helps over 2.6 Million US Dollars for Food Security in Cambodia
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 09:08 DAP-NEWS / Sreng Vibol
PHNOM PENH, April 20-European Union announced on Tuesday that it will provide over 2.6 million US dollar for the food security program for Cambodia. The fund will be implemented by the locally civil society projects that contribute to improve food security in Cambodia, the statement from EU here said. The projects will be launched here on April 22, it added.
Cambodia Trade Sector Wide Approach and the Way Forward
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 09:11 DAP-NEWS/ Soy Sophea .
Eleven projects adopted by the Sub-steering Committee on Trade Development and Trade Related Investment
PHNOM PENH – The Cambodian Government is taking stock of greater ownership of trade related foreign assistance in Cambodia, where a Trade Sector Wide Approach (Trade SWAp) mechanism was put in place as a unique model of coherent mechanism of trade development. The SWAp unites all activities funded by development partners to assist the Government to enhance the country’s trade potential, according to joint press statement of Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce and Swap Trade on Tuesday.
In a meeting held Tuesday in the Ministry of Commerce, eleven projects have been adopted by the Sub-steering Committee on Trade Development and Trade Related Investment for a total amount of around US$ 2 million, a year after the Trade Development Support Programme (TDSP) was launched.
These projects include as many areas as enhancing the capacity of the Ministry of Commerce and the special economic zones to effectively administer rules of origin, custom valuation, product information for trade promotion, drafting sanitary and phytosanitary standards, regulation on e-commerce or support to dialogue on minumum wages in garnment industries.
Over the next two days, seniors officials of the Ministry of Commerce, trade related line ministries along with private sector associations and representatives of development partners will be gathering in a Trade SWAp retreat, to provide up-to-date information on Cambodia’s trade specific intervention and the corresponding mechanisms, so as to define ambitious milestones for 2010.
Cham Prasidh, Minister of Commence, said in his opening speech that, even if there are recently some initial signs of recovery from the global financial crisis, Cambodia needs to sustain its efforts to constantly improve competitiveness and pave the way to facilitating trade and economic growth.
“Remarkable challenges related to regulation, finance, management capacity, staff incentive scheme and fiduciary have emerged from the (trade sector wide approach) execution, however we are here to acknowlege the achievements we accomplished, experiences we learnt, challenges we faced, and working out the way forward,” H.E. Dr. Cham Prasidh said.
Using the momentum created by the Prime Minister’s decision on Trade SWAp implementation creating a cross-ministerial Implementing Committee and the Ministry of Commerce’s Prakas of 04 February 2010, all related ministries are aiming at accelerating the process of building a conducive environment for traders, manufacturers and investors.
The Ministry of Commerce’s Prakas has achieved a remarkable milestone in coordinating trade technical assistance with three Working Groups that are overseeing progress in legal reforms, product and service development and capacity strengthening in trade support institutions.
The Cambodian trade specific intervention broadly aims at reducing the cost of doing business in the country. This includes legal reforms, trade facilitation, and product standards and reaches across all sectors—from fisheries to rubber and tourism through addressing legal reform and cross-cutting issues, product and service development for exports and capacity development for trade—and takes on board many of the Government’s ongoing reforms in such areas as decentralization and public finance management.
With continuous engagement from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which has been essential in enabling the sector wide approach to take shape over the last decade, Cambodia had successfully updated its Diagnosis Trade Integration Study (DTIS) in 2007.
Launched in March 2009, the Trade Development Support Programme (TDSP) is a trust fund providing US$ 12.6 million from the European Commission, the Danish International Aid Agency (DANIDA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and managed by the World Bank, for developing, financing and implementing an integrated trade strategy for an initial period of three years.
On 29 September 2009, Cambodia also gained access to the Tier 1 of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), seven years after having been selected as a pilot country under the Integrated Framework (IF) following the country’s accession to WTO.
EIF will allow the country to enhance its national capacity to formulate, implement, manage and monitor a pro-poor trade policy that is consistent with, and supportive of, the country's National Development Plan and its Millennium Development Goals.
An important part of the resources available will be used to share with other Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Cambodia's experiences of accession to the WTO and its success in bringing about coordinated development partner support to focus on its further integration into the world economy.